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Beyond Assimilation, Before Nationalism

Title: Beyond Assimilation, Before Nationalism: Reformist Ulama and the Constantine Riots of 1934.
Name(s): Easterbrook, Rachel Margaret, author
Hanley, Will, professor directing thesis
Liebeskind, Claudia, committee member
Treacy, Corbin, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of History, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (130 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis examines the outbreak of violence between Muslims and Jews in the city of Constantine in August 1934. What has been termed a riot or a pogrom was, for the reformist ulama arguing for association with the French colonial state, a tragic rupture in the colonial civic order. By examining the Arabic and French language rhetoric of the ulama in the aftermath of the violence, one can elucidate not only the sociopolitical context of the riots, but also the political agenda of the reformist ulama. Their attempts to rationalize the violence and avert culpability from the Muslim population of Constantine should not be understood as evidence of their inchoate Arab nationalism and latent anti-Semitism. Rather, their rhetoric revealed the historical and political underpinnings of their reformist platform, which was rooted in a conception of Algerian history galvanized by wider narratives of Islamic reform. Thus the reformers believed that for Algerian Muslims, the French themselves and their Jewish neighbors were not their enemies but rather their allies. Their enemies were ignorance itself and the alleged propagators of such ignorance, those who practiced and promulgated sufi Islam, which the reformers saw as antithetical to modernity and progress. But in August 1934, Constantine's Muslims perpetrated attacks against these ostensible allies, and the reformist ulama were left to rationalize this transgression in the wake of the riots. An analysis of this rhetoric reconstructs the politics of belonging at play in the interwar period, deepening our historical understanding of the evolution of the platform of the reformist ulama, many of whom in 1934 still imagined a positive future for French Algeria.
Identifier: FSU_2016SP_Easterbrook_fsu_0071N_13227 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester 2016.
Date of Defense: April 11, 2016.
Keywords: Algeria, Constantine riots, French Empire, Islamic Modernism, Ulama
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Will Hanley, Professor Directing Thesis; Claudia Liebeskind, Committee Member; Corbin Treacy, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Middle East -- History
Europe -- History
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Host Institution: FSU

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Easterbrook, R. M. (2016). Beyond Assimilation, Before Nationalism: Reformist Ulama and the Constantine Riots of 1934. Retrieved from